Liberia: Blue Oceans' Call to Action Implementation Begins With Beach Clean-Up

The Blue Oceans team at the launch of the July 5, 2019 clean-up exercise in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County.

On Friday, July 5, 2019 the National Steering Committee of the Blue Oceans Conference begun implementing the "Call-To-Action," adopted by stakeholders at the March 18-22, 2019 events in Monrovia with a beach clean-up exercise.

The first phase of the cleanup, which took place at the Kru Town Beach in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, brought together more than 100 participants, including students, representatives from Enisul Fisheries and Liberia Surf Affiliation.

Robertsport City Mayor J. Edwin Korha and members of the Kru Town community welcomed the Blue Oceans team, and assured them of the residents' commitment to the exercise.

Mayor Korha and his council members collaborated with the Blue Oceans team, and directed them to various persons and businesses already hosting beach clean-ups like John Adams from Collaboration Management Association (CMA), Enisul Fisheries, owned by Fabolia Kamara, and students from the Robertsport High School.

"Together, we picked up over 50 large black trash bags of plastic debris, wastes and other unmentionables not meant for the ocean," Mayor Korha said.

He expressed gratitude for the event, and their commitments to beach clean-ups moving forward.

The second phase of the Beach Clean-Up was also held on Friday, July 12, 2019 in Marshall City Margibi County.

Mayor Korha want city members to keep the beaches clean and promises to support their efforts by making the tools always readily available for beach clean-up teams.

A local business owner, F. Kamara also encouraged beach clean-ups by offering his fishery as a place to support local groups and organizations willing to do the work.

The Blue Oceans Liberia team donated four wheel barrels, ten rakes and shovels, and 25 wooden brooms to Robertsport City to support their beach cleaning efforts.

The Liberia Surf Affiliation has already scheduled to begin cleaning the Kru-Town Beach every Friday morning, and participants from Liberia will join them every to carry on the exercise.

The culture of a clean beach is being encouraged and supported by all members of the community and its governing agencies.

The Blue Oceans Team, which comprises the EPA, LiMA, National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA,) the Swedish Embassy and Conservation International (CI) reemphasized that this demonstration of the government of Liberia's continuous commitment to the work of Blue Oceans Conference "Call-To-Action," and to keep beaches on the west coast clean.

On March 21, 2019, the Liberian government underscored the importance of improving the health and productivity of the country's coast and ocean and protecting its functional integrity is key for country's future.

"We recognize that the Africa Maritime Domain (AMD) offers all African nations vast growth opportunities, including several sea-lanes of enormous importance for their security and prosperity. Our partnership with the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia and CI is noteworthy in these efforts," GoL said.

Representatives from the National Steering Committee member institutions, including Levi Z. Piah, Chief Technical Advisor, EPA; Konah Kaliku, Environmental Inspector, Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA); Anthony Yokie, Environmental Supervisor, NaFAA; Jenkins Flahwor, National Program Officer for Energy at the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia; and Victor Smith - GEF Mangrove Project Manager, CI graced the event.

The National Steering Committee is comprised of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as chair, LiMA as Co-chair, the NaFAA as well as its international partners, the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia and CI.

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